Rick O’Neill doesn’t know much about bowling.
He doesn’t very much about video games or how to properly maintain the pin-setting machine that lines up every single frame during a game on the lanes.
But with an extensive background managing the administrative portion of his own business, Manteca Bowl and Family Fun Center owner Bob Raymus thought he’d be perfect to serve as the new general manager for the facility. O’Neill will work closely with Raymus to help upgrade the complex and in turn make it more profitable.
While he’s only been on the job for three weeks, O’Neill says he’s started to learn the lingo and the layout of one of Manteca’s most popular recreation destinations.
“It has gotten easier since the first week when I started here,” O’Neill said with a laugh. “I think that my administrative experience will help here, and I really think that Bob has some big ideas on how to improve the experience.”
Starting next week 20 video game machines will be switched out for new, more modern versions, Plans are already in the works to improve other areas of maintenance – including training sessions on how to service pin-setters and the stocking of necessary parts to ensure that lanes aren’t down nearly as often.
Coupling the new changes with popular draws like Wednesday’s league night and cosmic bowling Friday and Saturday nights, O’Neill believes, will help restore some of the glory that Manteca Bowl once enjoyed.
“I’m basically helping Bob who is the driving force behind things here. He has ideas on how to optimize and nurture the bowling alley to help it perform financially and improve on the reputation,” he said. “I’m glad to be a part of that.”
Just recently a new website – www.mantecabowl.com – went live and will be a focal point of the new push towards modernizing the facility and its approach towards drawing in new customers.
Eventually the site will contain the league bowling results, O’Neill said, and will list specials that families and individuals will be able to take advantage of.
And it’s not just bowling that O’Neill and Raymus will be using to draw people through the doors.
A karaoke machine is in the works for Rookie’s, and the West Coast Poker League – a free weekly event that awards prizes to players instead of real money – started up two weeks ago.
As he dips his feet further into the water, O’Neill says that he’s looking forward to seeing the changes take place and the business itself flourish underneath new management.
“At first you don’t know the intricacies and nuances and the operating systems,” he said. “I was a fish out of water at first but I’m learning now.”
Manteca Bowl and Family Fun Center is located at 1251 E. Yosemite Ave. The business is open Sunday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For additional information, call (209) 824-2889.